Awarded the Spanish National Radio Culture Prize 2015 (Premio Ojo Crítico),
Isabel Villanueva (1988), is one of the best violists of the new generation. She is valued for her expression and sensibility as well as for her passion and commitment to promote the viola as an instrument with its own voice.
She has performed recitals and concerts through Europe, Middle-East and Russia in prestigious venues including the Grand Hall of St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Wigmore Hall in London, Slovenian Philharmonic Hall in Ljubljana, Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona, Estonia Concert Hall in Tallinn or Roudaki Hall in Tehran. She has been invited to perform in festivals as Pablo Casals Festival in Prades, Santander Festival or LegeArtis Festival in Austria. Her performances have been broadcasted live for RNE Spain, TVE, Catalunya Musica, RTV Slovenia, Estonia Klassika Raadio, Swiss RTV and TV Russia 'Kultura'.
Isabel Villanueva has performed as a soloist a wide range of viola concertos by J.C.Bach, Haendel, Mozart, Hoffmeister, Bruch, Weber, Britten, Hindemith, Bartók, Walton, Gubaidulina, Olivero with the RTVE Symphony Orchestra, Moscow Soloists, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, ‘New Russia’ State Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León, Glasperlenspiel Sinfonietta of Tallinn, among others.
Chamber music partners include Andrea Lucchesini, Martti Rousi, Michaël Levinas, Daniel Schnyder, Trio Arbós or Quartetto di Cremona.
Isabel Villanueva has a strong interest in expanding music for viola. Premieres and collaborations include Gubaidulina, Olivero, Marco, Zárate, Cervelló and Khayam. In 2010, she performed the world premiere of José Zárate Viola Concerto at Auditorio de Zaragoza.
In 2012 she was invited performing at Sofia Gubaidulina's 80th Anniversary Gala Concert her Concerto for two violas 'Two Paths' in the Grand Hall of St. Petersburg Philharmonic. In 2013 she became the first foreign violist to perform solo recitals in Iran. In 2014 she was guest soloist at the Closing Gala of MustonenFest in Tallinn performing Betty Olivero 'Neharót, Neharót' for viola and orchestra at Estonia Concert Hall.
Winner of numerous prizes such as Intercentres Competition, Juventudes Musicales de España, Mravinsky Competition in St. Petersburg, Beethoven Viola Competition in Czech Republic, Yuri Bashmet Viola Competition in Moscow. In 2014 she was awarded the 'Prix Albert Lullin' in Geneva. In 2015 she was recognized institutionally by Marca España and named 'Global Ambassador of Spanish Talent' by Clear Channel. From October 2015 she has been named 'Cultural Ambassador' from the Fondation Prim'Enfance in Switzerland.
Isabel Villanueva studied with Igor Sulyga, Yuri Bashmet, Lawrence Power and Nobuko Imai graduating with honours at Royal College of Music in London, Academia Musicale Chigiana in Siena and the Haute École de Musique in Geneva. She has hold viola masterclasses in Spain, Iran and Lebanon.
Isabel Villanueva plays an Enrico Catenar viola from 1670.